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By Robert A. Vella

The results of the 2018 midterm elections are still being determined with several important races which were apparently won by Republicans are now tightening, going into recount, or have shifted towards Democrats.  But first, there’s some interesting developments in the aftermath of President Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his controversial appointment of an interim replacement.

Matthew Whitaker, who is now acting AG, is being correctly seen as an unqualified political hack who will shield Trump from the ongoing Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election which could expose collusion with Trump insiders.  Protests broke out in several U.S. cities yesterday demanding that the Special Counsel’s investigation be protected from this blatant assault on the rule of law and on the nation’s constitutional separation of powers.  And, the backlash is not just coming from Trump’s political opponents.  Legal scholars and even some Republicans are expressing deep concern including one example which surely embarrassed and angered the President.  From:  Kellyanne Conway’s husband calls Trump’s promotion of Whitaker ‘unconstitutional’

WASHINGTON – George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, co-authored an op-ed in The New York Timeson Thursday, which argued President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general is unconstitutional.

“President Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid,” reads the piece by lawyers Conway and Neal Katyal.

Voter turnout has increased to over 48% which is fully 12 points higher than the last midterms in 2014.  From:  Trump triggers massive midterm turnout

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has inspired outrage, love, fear and every emotion in between. He has also inspired record-breaking turnout at the ballot box.

With votes still being counted, an estimated 113 million Americans cast ballots in the first nationwide election of the Trump presidency, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. That’s 30 million more people who participated in the 2014 midterms, representing the highest raw vote total for a non-presidential election in U.S. history and the highest overall voter participation rate in a midterm election in a half century.

[…]

Democrats seized the House majority by flipping at least 28 seats nationwide. They could claim as many as 35 new seats once all the votes are counted, which could take weeks in some cases.

Analyzing 417 House races that featured at least two candidates on the ballot, The AP has determined that Democrats earned more than 51.4 million votes in competitive House races nationwide, or 52 percent, compared to 47.2 million votes cast, or 48 percent, for Republicans.

But both parties exceeded turnout expectations.

In the Arizona senate race, the Democratic candidate has pulled ahead of her Republican opponent with more votes to be counted.  In the Florida senate and governor races and in the Georgia governor race, which all appeared to be Republican victories, have now tightened and are heading into vote recounts and mandatory runoff elections.

Another result which has received little attention from the national news media is the solid wins by Democrats not only in the governor races, but in other statewide offices and in the state legislatures.  From:  The Democrats’ Most Radical Election Victory Was in the States

The Democrats won a majority in the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday, setting up two long years of all-but-assured confrontation with President Donald Trump. The party also pulled out big victories across state legislatures, flipping six chambers, turning others purple, and shoring up its supermajorities in still more.

Under President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party largely neglected state-level races: By 2016, Republicans held roughly two-thirds of the country’s state legislative chambers. In some states, the result was a deep-red legislature governing a purple or blue majority, which set up conflicts. North Carolina had a showdown in 2016 over a local ordinance protecting transgender people, for example. And earlier this year, Arizona’s teachers walked out in protest of the state’s gutting of education funding.

The partisan imbalance in statehouses has also had national ripple effects, in some cases frustrating Democrats’ ability to win nationally. Republicans have used gerrymandering, voter-identification laws, and other voting restrictions to minimize the number of competitive districts around the country and to make it harder for black and Hispanic Americans to vote. Tuesday’s Democratic victories are the party’s first major effort to counteract years of Republican dominance in state capitols, which could help it secure national wins in the coming years.

 

19 thoughts on “More post-election analysis, protect Mueller protests, and new criticisms of Trump’s AG appointment

  1. Lots of well-behaved angry people in DT Chicago last night. And we ain’t done yet! More to come. Oh, in case you’re worried, Trump said he didn’t talk to his AG puppet about the Mueller probe before picking him. Aren’t you relieved?!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While I totally agree with all that’s being written about tRumpsky’s selection of Whitaker, I can’t help but wonder if any of it will have an effect. Past appointments by him have created ruckus, but nothing changed (e.g., Kavanaugh).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, there’s several more decades left for Kavanaugh to do horrid stuff in, so keep an eye out for it. It’s coming. Trump’s gonna try to pull off more crap before the Congress goes home for X-mas break. Just be ready to protest! We need to go to Washington and fill up the streets! Peacefully, though.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Nan, we can’t help but feel cynically about these troubled times we’re living in. Each of us has a fundamental choice to make. We can either allow our cynicism to accept this new negative reality and therefore ease our personal responsibility; or, we can stand on the principles we believe in and continue fighting to preserve them. Nothing is guaranteed. We cannot predict the future with certainty. But, we can try to remake our future. I’ve already made my choice.

      When Hitler’s Nazi Germany was rampaging across Europe and North Africa, when his fascist regime was murdering millions of Jews, Slavs, and other peoples, the cynicism and despair of the world was much worse than what we’re feeling today. Still, he lost and he lost BIG. Why? Because people didn’t give up the fight.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not giving up the fight! But the obvious is, well, pretty damn obvious. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean we accept it and go merrily along our way.

        Personally, I think our consistent chatter on the blogs helps. There are undoubtedly many who read but never comment. Just as in religious discussions, we can influence the “silent majority.” Don’t you agree?

        Liked by 3 people

        • Yes, I agree. Blogging, social media, sharing information, etc. is extremely influential. If it wasn’t, then gigantic media entities like Facebook wouldn’t exist. Your point about readers who don’t typically comment is a good one. For example, the religious commenters on atheist blogs are not – from my perspective – casual readers open to honest discussion. Rather, they appear to be activists who are philosophically intransigent and intent upon undermining communication they perceive as detrimental to their religious cause.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Well said, and something we need to keep reminding ourselves of, for the days will get darker before they get lighter, but if we simply sit down and give up, then we have lost before we even stepped up to the starting line.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post, Robert. There is much to be encouraged by, but also much to be wary of, for I believe that Trump will do as much damage as he possibly can between now and January 3rd. He’s already gotten a fair start, especially with his assaults on the press. I have to chuckle, however, about one thing. I wonder if he threatened to fire Kellyanne for her husband’s views, or if she got on her knees and begged his forgiveness? Perhaps she even had to sigh an oath promising to divorce poor ol’ George for his perfidy?

    Liked by 1 person

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